Guan Eng demands answers from Najib over missing GST refunds

A. Ruban
Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur August 10, 2018. — Picture by Azneal Ishak

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 21 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng pressed Datuk Seri Najib Razak today to explain three matters related to the RM19.3 billion the former previously said was missing from the government’s trust account for Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds.

Lim asked his predecessor to say if he gave approval for GST refunds to be delayed beyond the two weeks that had been the legal requirement and whether he permitted then Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Irwan Serigar to transfer less than the amounts requested by the Customs Department.

He further urged Najib to say if he consented to the funds meant for GST refunds being booked directly as revenue for immediate spending.

“It is now time for Datuk Seri Najib to answer the three pertinent questions about his involvement as the finance minister over the missing RM19.25 billion that had prevented RM19.4 billion from being returned to these companies and individuals,” Lim said.

He said it was imperative that Najib provide an answer as he was the immediate past finance minister.

Lim insisted that only a finance minister would have the authority to make such decisions.

The minister previously disclosed in Parliament that the RM19.3 billion was missing from the government’s trust account and accused the Barisan Nasional government of “robbing” businesses of this sum.

Umno leaders and Irwan lodged reports over Lim’s allegation with both the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Lim said today that he has since given his statement to the police for their investigations.

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